Pulmonary edema is a medical disorder that entails the excessive accumulation of fluid within the lungs. The ailment is a serious hazard to dogs as it can stop the lungs from being able to take in sufficient oxygen. Not only can dogs experience pulmonary edema, so can human beings.
This collection of fluid in the lungs functions as an obstacle in the midst of the air that a dog takes in and his alveoli. This impedes oxygen from being able to travel to the tissues of the body, which can bring upon rapid fatal consequences in dogs. The ailment sometimes comes on in a gradual manner, and in other cases, comes on extremely swiftly. Any dog is potentially susceptible to pulmonary edema, regardless of sex, age bracket or breed type.
Pulmonary edema in canines has a lot of different and varied causes, some from outside influences and others related to other existing medical conditions. Heart failure is a particularly prominent cause of the ailment. Other diverse triggers include injuries to the head, pneumonia, proximity to irritants, lung disease, anemia, nearly drowning, heart disease, infection, cancer and breathing in smoke.
Keep up on your precious pooch's health by always monitoring him for any possible indications of medical issues. Some common symptoms of pulmonary edema are problems breathing, excessively fast breathing, coughing, feebleness, gasping and falling to the ground abruptly. You might even notice that your pet's mouth has taken on a bizarrely blue appearance, specifically his tongue and lips. The intensity of these symptoms is related to the amount of fluid collected within the lungs. The more fluid collected, the more intense the symptoms, generally. As soon as you pick up on any of these signs, take your pet to the vet as quickly as possible.
When you present your dog to the veterinarian, provide her with plenty of information that might be helpful for understanding what's going on. Remember, canine pulmonary edema has a lot of potential root triggers, so the more available details, the better. From information regarding your pet's recent food switch to prior illnesses, make sure the vet is 100 percent "in the know." The vet may employ a variety of different examinations in order to figure out whether or not your cutie does indeed have pulmonary edema, from blood work and electrocardiographies to chest X-rays.
If your doggie turns out to have pulmonary edema, your vet can discuss with you all of the various management options out there. Canine pulmonary edema is usually handled through relaxation in a hospital setting. A couple of the common management options are oxygen therapy, use of sedatives and, lastly, diuretics for flushing out extra water. What your pet needs, management-wise, is related to the intensity of his specific case, however. If a dog's pulmonary edema is an effect of a preexisting ailment, it's crucial to focus on dealing with that, as well.
- PetMD: Fluid in the Lungs in Dogs
- Vetstreet: Pulmonary Edema in Pets
- US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Pulmonary Oedema in Swedish Hunting Dogs
- Mission Animal Hospital: Pulmonary Edema
- The Merck Manual for Pet Health: Pulmonary Edema in Dogs
- The Veterinary ICU Book; Wayne E. Wingfield and Marc C. Raffe
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images